Do you have family coming to visit you in Okinawa?
Or are you coming here for a vacation?
There are plenty of sites that are great for researching activties in Okinawa. One of the most popular is www.OkinawaHai.com. This site lists recommendations for everything from food, tourist sites, local jobs, parks, and off-island travel.
If you’re connected with the military and you’re looking for organized tours, MCCS Tours+ or Kadena ITT Tours have some nice options. I’d rather do them on my own, but if you’re in need of transportation, these are good options.
Here are a few sample itineraries from when my in-laws and my parents came to visit us!
For each visit, I created my rough plan and then depending on how our visitors were feeling we altered the plan. The samples below are the final versions of what we actually did. This may help you because you can get a feel for how much sightseeing visitors could handle!
Parent’s Visit (Nov 2015)
After trying sushi the first night, we learned that my mom was NOT going to eat sushi again. So, we picked restaurants that we knew were good but that were more Americanized. Some of them we hadn’t tried yet, so it was nice that all of us experienced new things! My parents also had no desire to scuba dive or snorkel.
In-Law Visit #2 (Sept 2015)
When viewing this itinerary, remember that my in-laws came last year so we did not want to duplicate any of the activities! (FYSA – The color coding is based on which of us had off of work!)
In-Law Visit #1 (Feb 2014)
Here’s a written description of the 1st visit:
Our family came to visit for 12 full days. They did not rent a car, so that changed the itinerary a bit for the days that we had to work. Your guests can rent a car if they have an international license, which is easy to obtain through AAA for a minimal fee. They were able to see all of the most popular things on the island and had a fantastic trip! Here’s what they ended up doing:
Day 1: Since they arrived late the night before, my husband and I worked this day so they could sleep in. They walked to a few neighborhood stores including Mister Donut and Don Quixote.
In the afternoon they walked to Araha Beach.
Dinner: 100 Yen Sushi-Go-Round near MCAS Futenma
Day 2: My husband took off work to take them sight seeing.
-Peace Memorial Park & Museum (300 yen/person, open 0900-1700)
-WWII Underground (420 yen/person, open 0830-1700).
-There’s also a park nearby with a roller slide. We didn’t stop, but you might as well!
-Shuri Castle (800 yen/person, open 0830-1800)
Dinner: Yakiniku Goen on Hwy 23 along side Kadena (one of our favorite restaurants!)
Day 3: While we were at work, they visited Daiso 100 Yen Store and the Convention City Mall.
After work, we walked through American Village.
Dinner: Hamazushi 100 Yen Sushi-Go-Round on Hwy 58
Day 4: While we worked, they went to Tropical Beach.
In the late afternoon, we walked around Kokusai Street and the open-air market.
Dinner: Garlic House on Hwy 58.
Day 5: Overnight trip up north (spend 1 night at Okuma resort)
-Nakijin Castle for the Cherry Blossoms (400 yen/person, open 0800-1800)
-Orion Beer Factory (free, 1000-1900)
-Pineapple Park (600 yen, 0900-1800)
Dinner: Pizza in the Sky
Day 6: Enjoy the morning at Okuma resort.
-Churaumni Aquarium (1,800 yen/person, 0830-1830)
-Tour Camp Courtney
Dinner: Cook fresh salmon from Aeon and try fried foods from Aeon’s hot buffet
Day 7: We worked out at the Foster Gym and had a relaxing morning during the Super Bowl.
-Visit Kadena BX
-Zanpa Light House & Shisha Dog
Dinner: Panera-looking place on Hwy 58
Day 8: While we worked, they visited UniQlo and Daiso.
Dinner: Mike’s Tex Mex (While the food was okay, we weren’t overly impressed and don’t plan to go back.)
-Show them Pachinko
-Take them through Aeon (try Sake)
Day 9: Golf at Banyan Tree Golf Course
-Roller slide at Tobaru Koen Park
-Maeda Point (snorkel if the weather conditions allow!)
-Coco De Bake
Dinner: Sushi Zen
Dessert: Blue Seal Ice Cream Crepes
Day 10: While we worked, they snorkeled outside of our apartment.
-Bike on the MCAS Futenma Habu Trail
Dinner: Four Seasons Steak House on Hwy 58
Day 11: Ryukyu Mura (770 yen, 0830-1730) – While this was still enjoyable, I recommend Okinawa World instead. (Since I hadn’t been to Ryukyu Mura, I wanted to try it.)
Lunch: Hotto Motto
Day 12: Ryukyu Glass Village (free, 0900-1800) – They have an outlet Ryukyu glass store. Great for gifts!
Lunch: Gajumaru (Tree Restaurant on Hwy 58 in Naha) – It was okay, but I don’t plan on going back. The neon images in the elevator and the novelty of being in a fake tree were more exciting than the food.
-Urasoe roller slide (this is better than the Tobaru Koen roller slide). Bring card board or a plastic sled (bought at 100 Yen stores)!
Dinner: Blue Seal dinner crepes and dessert
Day 13: Fly Home!
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what you can do on the island, and what would be fun for visitors/tourists!
Google the destinations and do your own research to determine what’s best for you, and to check if hours of operation or prices have changed!
P.S. My friends have this book & I enjoyed glancing through it for more information about Okinawa!